With e-commerce fulfilment on the rise in the UK, Ben Ellis – operations director  at Prodek – shares the Sheffield e-commerce storage firm’s insights into ‘gaining that competitive edge and keep customers coming back’

E-commerce fulfilment is booming in the UK.  The sector accounted for almost a third of all retail sales in the UK during 2020. Non-store retailers took a 77.7 per cent share of online sales in the UK last year.

Specialist racking and shelving systems now form the backbone of several successful e-commerce businesses in the area.

UK e-commerce is going through a rapid growth phase. Fulfilment companies know product storage is critical to gaining that competitive edge and keep customers coming back.

Storage solutions which support rapid, accurate order dispatch, are part of fulfilment business growth strategies.

Prodek started working with the e-commerce fulfilment sector in 2017 when Barnsley-based truck and trailer parts wholesaler, Universal Components (UC), combined their Sheffield and Barnsley operations to establish one, highly efficient fulfilment centre to support their ambitious growth plans.

Prodek engineers installed specialist racking to accommodate a whopping 7,100 pallets and long-span shelving systems to store 1,000 e-commerce products. The new HQ offices and boardroom also received a full fit-out as part of the process.

In addition to e-commerce storage, we quoted for a full head office fit-out. Having a single contractor carry out all the work ensured the project was completed quickly and completely hassle-free for the client.

Since the complete fit-out of UC’s new distribution centre and head office, the Prodek team have returned to increase storage capacity further, accommodating an additional 1,065 pallets and bespoke exhaust pipe storage.

UC supply a phenomenal range of truck and trailer products direct to end users – we’re talking cabin windscreens and body panels to drive train components and exhaust systems – and in the world of trucks, these parts can be pretty awkward and bulky to store.

The size and weight of products offered by e-commerce companies demand specialist storage solutions to ensure goods handling and order picking is as fast and efficient as possible.

E-commerce newcomer Cloud 9 Fulfilment worked with Prodek to install specialist racking, accommodating 600 heavyweight pallet spaces in their new Sheffield distribution centre.

Cloud 9 provide a fulfilment service for e-commerce companies, with secure storage and rapid dispatch of orders, direct to their clients’ customers. They take the headache out of fulfilment for companies selling their goods online, especially those selling via Amazon Prime.

Van Pimps in Leicester is another e-commerce business reaping the benefits of storage for their bulky van conversion products, supplying the popular UK campervan market. Prodek installed racking to house 100 pallets with bespoke storage configured to accommodate all shapes and sizes, such as car seats, bonnets, doors, and windows.

All e-commerce fulfilment specialists offer rapid dispatch to meet customer expectations. Companies like Amazon have raised the bar for a broad spectrum of industries supplying goods direct. Fulfilment speed and accuracy are integral to providing the level of customer service most of us have come to expect when we make an online purchase.

For Prodek, our winning formula is a combination of a comprehensive fit-out service – totally transforming an entire fulfilment operation – plus our rapid turnaround times.

The ease of dealing with a single contractor and speed of installation is certainly why Prodek secure orders for e-commerce storage. These operations need to make a return fast and want a contractor who will get the job done quickly and efficiently – that’s what we do.

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